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Russell Langelle, Popov's Case Officer, Moves from USSR to Latin Am.


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I thought there should be a thread on this guy. He was one of many people suspected of being a Russian mole by Angleton, according to Tom Mangold.

Dick Russell writes this about him.

We know know that Angleton's suspected moles included a number of Agency empoyees assined to read documents ciruculated

about Oswald. One othse was David Murphy, who became cheif of hte CIA's Societ Russia Division in November 1963. Another

was Russell Langelle He'd been Chief of Station in Vienna when Pyotor Popov was originaly recuited there by hte CIA. And Langelle

was Popov's case officer in Moscow, when the double agent was arrested there in mid-October 1959; Langelle was seized and

expelled by the Soviets. Early in 1960, Langelle was given a CIA cover assignement in the State Department's Office of Security.

That same year, inquiries about Oswald started being directed to that office by FBI Director Hoover. By 1963, Langelle was assigned

to the Western Hemisphere Section of the operations Branch of the Soviet Russia Division. So Oswald's parallel shift of interest

to Latin America meant that Langelle continued to receive documentation about him. Even after the assassination, a CIA message of

of November 25 concetning recorded telephone intercepts of Oswald in mexico had only two individual names on the internal distribution

list. One of them was langelle's (emph. Russell)

Russell writes that because The KGB thought that Oswald was 35, this use of Lagelle involved Oswald being used as "a catspaw, bait being

dangled to expose others." ( 324)

Langelle had earlier been forced to leave the USSR when he was linked to Popov, when the latter was arrested after attempting to receive a note

from Langelle on a Moscow bus. This happened on the same date, October 16, 1959 that Oswald arrived in Moscow.

It seems strange that this "catspaw" would have been dangeled for Langelle AFTER the Assassination. Maybe the internal distribution to Langelle was

playing a different role by then?

Also, on a side note, how does this relate to what was going on in the Mexico City Station? Does it relate in anyway to discrepancies between what

Desmond Fitzgerald's man John Whitten knew about Oswald (real and or Russian's idea of him) and what "Our" Man in Mexico, Win Scott knew about

Oswalds?

Does Hoover's referral of Oswald inquiries to Langelle when he was a CIA agent in the State Department signify anything re later message routings?

I have never been very good filing stuff, so this is hard for me to follow :plane

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WILLIAM HOOD AND THE VIENNA CHOIR BOYS

Not to confuse you any further Nate, but -

In his article, "What Jane Roman Said,"

[see: What Jane Roman Said Part 3: The Interview http://www.history-matters.com/essays/frameup/WhatJaneRomanSaid/WhatJaneRomanSaid_6.htm]

Jeff Morley writes, "…I first called Jane Roman in the summer of 1994. I told her that I worked as an editor for the Sunday Outlook section of the Washington Post. I told her I had seen her name on some new CIA records in the National Archives. Could she spare some time to review them with a colleague and me?...With the documents in front of her, Roman demonstrated that her recollection of details was acute. When (John) Newman mistakenly referred to a CIA official listed on one document as "Wood," she caught him."

"'Hood,' she said correctly referring to a former colleague, William Hood."

"As the interview proceeded, Newman sought to coax Roman into talking about the handling of information on Oswald by the senior staff members of the CIA's operations division and the counterintelligence staff in the weeks before Kennedy was killed." [End of Morly quote].

Among the documents released under the JFK Act is [Doc #104 10015 10156] is a CIA cable from Dir. To Mexico City station on 11/26/63 – Re: Alverado Ugarte, also sent to Managua (Nicaragua), which "William Hood signs for J.C. King." It is also signed by "Scelso."

But if Hood signed off for J.C. King, wouldn't that make him a deputy to the Chief of the Western Hemisphere Division?

Whether with Angleton at CI or King at WH, as John H. Richardson, Jr points out, he's out of his area of expertise, being Soviet Russian interest, or is he?

In Lobster issue 50 (2005/6), William Hood is described as a "novelist" and "Angleton's Deputy." Hood also wrote the book Mole, about a Soviet double-agent (Popov) recruited in Vienna.

In My Father The Spy, [ My Father The Spy – An Investigative Memoir – by John H. Richardson (Harper Collins, 2005) Also see: Johnhrichardson.com ]

John H. Richardson writes:

June, 1945 – Vienna, Austria. "…A deputy chief named Bill Hood told me that one time one of the OPC guys came back from Washington all revved up with a plan to 'bring Hungry to its knees'…And a case officer named Jean Nater told me that the aggressive CIA men in Germany sometimes dismissed my father's young staff with a scornful label: The Vienna Choir Boys."

"Around that time, one of the Austrian station's most valuable agents was snatched. I think he was the man my father described in a letter as a 'courageous, daring' police major, a close friend who disappeared on his way through the Soviet zone to Linz. As Bill Hood told the story, he was an impressive and sympathetic man who had become one the treasures of the station, so valuable that they used him in too any efforts and letter him know too much inside information. In his wake, major changes had to be made to limit the damage. Agents were retired, some sent to the United States. Networks were shut down. For the station, it was a painful education in "compartmentalization.'"

"Still, the day came when someone in an elevator made a remark about my father's job at CIA, and the elevator operator was a secret Soviet agent. From that moment on, his name was in KGB files…."

"…Once, when an actual Soviet spy tried to defect, the British turned him over to a senior agent named Kim Philby and the defector was promptly kidnapped, drugged and shipped back to Moscow on a stretcher. Later they discovered that Philby was the most notorious Soviet spy of all…."

"…That breakthrough came by accident. One day the wife of a young American embassy official found a letter addressed to 'An de n American-isher Hockkommissaer, bolzmanngase, Vienna XVIII.' She gave it to her husband, a junior American diplomat named Horace "Tully" Torbert…Many years later I interviewed [Horrace 'Tully'] Torbert in the Metropolitan Club, an elite Washington private institution two blocks from the White House….This is where Bill Hood picked up the story in Mole, the first inside story of a CIA operation and still one of the best….To placate the CIA censors, Hood called my father 'Joel Roberts.' But he said hat everything else in the book is true and for me, the bell of recognition went off with the first anxious question Joel Roberts asked: 'Have you ever heard of a bona fide approach as bald as this one?'"

"…By the time I interviewed Hood years later, he was a craggy and sophisticated man in his seventies wearing an ascot and a neat little white mustache, the author of five intelligence books on the CIA. On his wall there was a framed poster of Miles Davis and Charlie Parker….."

J. H. Richardson's father, John "Jack" Richardson, is identified as a CIA officer who served in Vienna, Austria, the Philippines (with Lansdale) and Vietnam (with Conin and HC Lodge). He was involved in Operation Switchback, handing back military operations in Vietnam that had been given to the CIA, including use of Special Forces units. As COS he was recalled from Siagon to DC in October, 1963, before the assassination of Diem.

About William Joseph Hood - the Author of Mole (Ballantine Books, NY, 1982):

William Hood was born in Maine and attended school there. He served in OSS in England, France, and Switzerland during World War II and retired from the CIA in 1975. When asked about his major accomplishments, he responded modestly, "Such as they were, they are all classified." He currently divides his time between Portland, Maine, New York City, and Amagansett, Long Island.

Edited by William Kelly
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There are, at least two documents regarding Russell Langelle, if one enters his name at NARA.

The first is a December 1963 memo entitled

Mr. Alexander Shatton and Russell Langelle Plan Arrive National

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/....do?docId=40915

The second, is far more compelling information wise.

180-10143-10233

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...amp;relPageId=1

The latter document is listed as 19 pages and looks very interesting.....

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There are, at least two documents regarding Russell Langelle, if one enters his name at NARA.

The first is a December 1963 memo entitled

Mr. Alexander Shatton and Russell Langelle Plan Arrive National

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/....do?docId=40915

The second, is far more compelling information wise.

180-10143-10233

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...amp;relPageId=1

The latter document is listed as 19 pages and looks very interesting.....

RH, The Pope of Oak Cliff, is back in action.

Thanks for those links Robert.

In summary, the first is a December 1963 - post assassination message to director of

JMWAVE (Shackley?)that Mr. Russell Langelle and Mr. Alexander Shatton will be arriving...with short note concerning one "THIRKIST."

The other is a ten page, hand written report of an interview with Russell August Langelle at CIA HQ on May 4, '78, probably a ROCKCOM doc., in which it is revealed that RAL was born on October 7, 1922, is married with two children, and joined the CIA in September 1950.

While his official records reflect that he left the CIA in November 1955, he actually continued to work for them in an undercover capacitiy using the Hecht Company as cover. Ostensibly working for the State Department, Langelle worked as a security officer at the US embassy in Moscow - Dec. 1957 - early Oct. 1959, when his cover was blown in the Popov arrest.

Langelle said that LHO would have been "a consullar case" rather than an intelligence one.

The notes used as a basis for this report, which take up the last ten or twelve pages, includes some interesting tidbits that didn't make it into the final report - like (p. 18) in which he notes Priscilla Johnson "asked for interview after his PNG..." and also note the mention of "Provocations [Harmstone] and "Naval aviator Atsugi - 53-55."

(p. 19) of the notes includes "then Murray followed by Howard Osborne" and a mention of Vienna (p. 21).

At the end, there's Murphy's contact numbers and "Howard J. Osborne 30 Jul '62 - 15 Sept. '63 Atty John DeGalus 948-6727."

Well, there's a few new subjects - Alexander Shatton, THIRKIST, Hecht Company, PNG, Harmstone, Howard J. Osborne, John DeGalus.

The only clue I have is the Hecht Company is probably the Baltimore Department Store chain, owned by the father of actress Anne Hecht, though I'm not positive.

I think Nicholas Cage should play Robert Howard in the next National Treasure movie.

BK

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Bill,

Howard J. Osborne was Richard Helms' man. Helms had ordered Osborne to withhold Watergate information and to deny the Justice Department access to key witnesses in the first six weeks after the break-in. Helms also ordered him to stay away from E. Howard Hunt and Karl Wagner, the latter having knowledge that John Ehrlichman had authorized the Agency to establish a working relationship with Hunt.

This was unpublished testimony by Osborne himself.

Regarding Russell Langelle, an interesting sub-plot comes from a Polish born U.S. soldier named Vladimir Sloboda who was assigned to the 513th Military Intelligence unit in Frankfurt. Sloboda defected to the Soviet Union in 1960 and claimed that the embassy was full of spies and dangles. One of these was Langelle associate Col. Theodore Hoffman who commanded a Military Intelligence unit in Germany.

Sloboda also said that U.S. spies were sent to the Soviet Union disguised as tourists, official delegates, diplomats and defectors.

A rare image of Russell Langelle below.

FWIW.

James

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Guys,

thanks for bringing this topic to the fore.

Langelle is mentioned in the chronology put together by myself amd JKO

Russell Langelle gets cover assignment

Jan 10

Russell Langelle (ordered expelled from Russia day of Oswald's arrival - see Oct 16 1959 entry) is given cover assignment in State Dept Office of Security. Hoover's inquiries re Oswald during 1960 are sent to this Office. By 1963, Langelle is with the WH Section of the Operations Branch within SR Division of CIA. He is one of the people sent copies of the telephone intercepts of Oswald in Mexico City. Langelle is at JM/WAVE with a Alexander Shatton, (another using the State Dept as cover) on Dec 5, 1963

Oswald "Defection"

Both Jim and I believe Langelle to be an important part of the story.

Haven't discussed this with Jim, and he may have a different view, but I believe Popov was sacrificed in part of a deal concerning Oswald's mission. It was not a huge sacrifice, as he had not been anywhere near as effective as he had been in Vienna. As for Langelle... his being kicked out was staged.

Any comments by Langelle on LHO should be taken with a giant dose of salts. Oswald was intelligence, and though CIA was involved as support, he himself was still a Marine on assignment for the Special Group.

Edited by Greg Parker
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Bill,

Howard J. Osborne was Richard Helms' man. Helms had ordered Osborne to withhold Watergate information and to deny the Justice Department access to key witnesses in the first six weeks after the break-in. Helms also ordered him to stay away from E. Howard Hunt and Karl Wagner, the latter having knowledge that John Ehrlichman had authorized the Agency to establish a working relationship with Hunt.

This was unpublished testimony by Osborne himself.

Regarding Russell Langelle, an interesting sub-plot comes from a Polish born U.S. soldier named Vladimir Sloboda who was assigned to the 513th Military Intelligence unit in Frankfurt. Sloboda defected to the Soviet Union in 1960 and claimed that the embassy was full of spies and dangles. One of these was Langelle associate Col. Theodore Hoffman who commanded a Military Intelligence unit in Germany.

Sloboda also said that U.S. spies were sent to the Soviet Union disguised as tourists, official delegates, diplomats and defectors.

A rare image of Russell Langelle below.

FWIW.

James

The Heche Company circa 1959 was, as Bill alluded to a Deparment Store Chain that eventually merged, or was bought out by May Department Stores....They had stores in several states, I believe, including Hagerstown, MD.

In my mind, excluding the persons of James "Jesus" Angleton, Lee Oswald, Richard Snyder, the RAND personages, Priscilla McMillan et cetera, the most interesting person is Foy Kohler. Check it out.

Not only did he not particularly like the Kennedy's, but his background is more than slightly intriguing.

He also, at one time headed The Voice of America.

While it is just an opinion, Angleton cannot be a benign principal regarding the Kennedy assassination, for reasons that have been stated on the Forum and elsewhere. Recovering diaries isn't the pastime of a disinterested third party.......

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Touche, Robert,

Those who failed to read to the last sentence didn't catch the last years of his life spent at the University of Miami Center for International Studies - JMWAVE?

BK

Bill,

you are probably right.

This is from Weberman Nodule 23:

In 1969 Howard K. Davis, Edmund Kolby, William Dempsey - all former INTERPEN members - along with Martin Francis Casey, Rene J. Leon, former Haitian Army Colonel, Charles Smith, William Eugene Dunbach, Marvin Simpson and Ralph Grant Edens were arrested after bombing the Haitian Presidential Palace of "Papa Doc" Duvalier with several gasoline-filled oil drums. Haitian antiaircraft fire caused enough damage to their aircraft to force the raiders to land in Nassau, where they were turned over to American authorities. A few months later, they were indicted by the Department Of Justice for violations of the Neutrality Act. [uSDC SDF 69-328-CrCF] When their trial ended in a guilty verdict, Martin Casey wrote a letter to Federal Judge Charles Fulton from his prison cell. Martin Casey stated that he had been under the impression his activities had CIA approval: "On March 5, 1969, I received a call from Jay Mallin, a research scientist at the University of Miami's Center for International Studies. Mr. Mallin told me that if we needed weapons he had talked to someone in the Intelligence Community in Washington who had told him that we should contact Fred Brown (Sionics, Inc.)

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Touche, Robert,

Those who failed to read to the last sentence didn't catch the last years of his life spent at the University of Miami Center for International Studies - JMWAVE?

BK

Bill,

you are probably right.

This is from Weberman Nodule 23:

In 1969 Howard K. Davis, Edmund Kolby, William Dempsey - all former INTERPEN members - along with Martin Francis Casey, Rene J. Leon, former Haitian Army Colonel, Charles Smith, William Eugene Dunbach, Marvin Simpson and Ralph Grant Edens were arrested after bombing the Haitian Presidential Palace of "Papa Doc" Duvalier with several gasoline-filled oil drums. Haitian antiaircraft fire caused enough damage to their aircraft to force the raiders to land in Nassau, where they were turned over to American authorities. A few months later, they were indicted by the Department Of Justice for violations of the Neutrality Act. [uSDC SDF 69-328-CrCF] When their trial ended in a guilty verdict, Martin Casey wrote a letter to Federal Judge Charles Fulton from his prison cell. Martin Casey stated that he had been under the impression his activities had CIA approval: "On March 5, 1969, I received a call from Jay Mallin, a research scientist at the University of Miami's Center for International Studies. Mr. Mallin told me that if we needed weapons he had talked to someone in the Intelligence Community in Washington who had told him that we should contact Fred Brown (Sionics, Inc.)

Greg,

I wonder if the UM CIS is related in any way, other than name, to the MIT Center for International Studies (Harold Issacs) and the John Hopkins (Baltimore) Center that Linebarger was affiliated with?

Also, there's Langelle's mention of "....working inside the Embassy and approximately four outside. Inside with deep cover, were...outisde were Jean Sherman and three or four students, who handled orientation projects rather than operational projects..."

I wonder if these three or four students operating outside the Embassy were affiliated with Harvard, and if one of them was ELK?

BK

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Regarding Russell Langelle, an interesting sub-plot comes from a Polish born U.S. soldier named Vladimir Sloboda who was assigned to the 513th Military Intelligence unit in Frankfurt. Sloboda defected to the Soviet Union in 1960 and claimed that the embassy was full of spies and dangles. One of these was Langelle associate Col. Theodore Hoffman who commanded a Military Intelligence unit in Germany.

Sloboda also said that U.S. spies were sent to the Soviet Union disguised as tourists, official delegates, diplomats and defectors.

James, he seems to be referring to Operations RED CAP/RED SOX & REDSKIN - all outgrowths of the Volunteer Freedom Corps which had bases in Germany (possibly Frankfurt) and Austria.

The US to this day continues to downplay the number of agents and spies it had operating during the 50's and 60's inside the SU and it's satellites.

What really galls me is that history authors swallow it, as I found out when researching Eisenhower and Intelligence.

The example in the article is the Hungarian Uprising. The CIA continues to maintain it had no idea that this rebellion was going to take place and that it it only had one man on the ground yada yada yada. And every book I looked at dutifully let the CIA off the hook.

But here are the facts, excerpted from that article:

The Hungarian Uprising

The uprising began on October 23, 1956 with a student demonstration which quickly turned into a full-scale revolt across the country as militias formed to battle the State Security apparatus. The Soviet puppet regime fell, but on November 4, Soviet tanks rolled in taking the country back after 6 days when expected US intervention failed to materialize.

In 1958 the CIA reported that, "
This breath-taking and undreamed-of state of affairs not only caught many Hungarians off-guard, it also caught us off-guard, for which we can hardly be blamed since we had no inside information, little outside information, and could not read the Russians' minds
."

"
Undreamed of
"? To get to the truth of the matter, we need to go back to June, 1953 and a NSC report titled, Interim United States Objectives and Actions to Exploit the Unrest in the satellite States.

Point 2a of that report states, "
In East Germany and other satellite areas, where feasible, covertly stimulate acts and attitudes of resistance short of mass rebellion aimed at putting pressure on Communist authority for specific reforms, discrediting such authority and provoking open Soviet intervention.
"

So whilst the mass rebellion itself may not have been intended, and therefore came as a surprise, elsewhere in the report, it is also noted that the nourishment of resistance in Satellite countries should be done "without compromising its spontaneous nature". In any case, the ultimate objective was achieved; to wit, "provoking open Soviet intervention." The purpose of such provocation can only be interpreted one of two ways: either it was meant to provide pretext for armed conflict with the Soviets or, it was meant to further demonize the Soviets in the minds of the West causing a yielding of more power and resources to US intelligence services - a kind of ultimate Protection Racket. The former seems unlikely - even under the policy of "Rollback", given the grave risk of nuclear war. In fact, the 1958 report goes some way to supporting the latter intention by claiming that "...
If we [the CIA] were in no position to act efficiently ... the military is, was, and always will be even worse off
..."

Thanks for posting Langelle pic. I'm out of superlatives due... just shaking my head in awe....

Greg,

I wonder if the UM CIS is related in any way, other than name, to the MIT Center for International Studies (Harold Issacs) and the John Hopkins (Baltimore) Center that Linebarger was affiliated with?

Bill, have also wondered if all those"International Study Centers" were related. Possibly by common denominator of funding sources?

Also, there's Langelle's mention of "....working inside the Embassy and approximately four outside. Inside with deep cover, were...outisde were Jean Sherman and three or four students, who handled orientation projects rather than operational projects..."

I wonder if these three or four students operating outside the Embassy were affiliated with Harvard, and if one of them was ELK?

Bill, at the end of Nov last, I added a update to my REDSKIN article based on the above. Orientation for someone about to live in the SU would be a good idea... and ELK had the right credentials for providing it. That said, I do think he was also involved in operational matters... if collecting intelligence from various sources fits that description. That was part of what he did by his own admission....

BK

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  • 12 years later...

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